Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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Holiday Breakfast Casserole

Thanksgiving Breakfast Casserole (10)

Thanksgiving Breakfast Casserole (1)

Thanksgiving Breakfast Casserole (9)

Thanksgiving Breakfast Casserole (8)

On Thanksgiving, a lot of us have family over for the holidays. In the morning, you want to have breakfast for your family but you don’t want to make it a big ordeal. I have a great idea that will feed everyone, and hold them over until the big meal. This dish is done casseroles-style, it’s my Holiday Breakfast Casserole.

My Holiday Breakfast Casserole can be made the day before so all you need to do is pop it in the oven the morning of.

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Olive Oil

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Italian Chicken Sausage

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I’m also going back to my Organic Hanging Herb Garden to grab some fresh sage and Italian flat-leaf parsley.

Sage

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 12 hours, overnight to chill
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
Equipment: 1 (9 x 13x 3) casserole dish, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 1 (12-inch) sauté pan, box grater

Ingredients:
2 pounds of hot Italian chicken sausage, casings removed (substitute mild chicken sausage or breakfast sage sausage)
1 teaspoon dried sage
2 Granny Smith apples, 1-inch dice
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped
2 tablespoons freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley (reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish)
12 large eggs, beaten
2 cups half-and-half
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted plus extra for greasing the casserole dish

1 loaf of Pepperidge Farm Swirl Pumpkin Cinnamon bread, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 1/2 cups of Monterey Jack cheese, freshly grated

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
On the day before serving, cut the pumpkin bread into 2-inch bite-size cubes. Spread them out in one even layer on each of the 2 rimmed sheet pans. Drizzle olive oil over the bread cubes. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.

Note: Keep a close eye on the bread while baking. I’m using fresh bread here so it may take a little longer to become golden brown. If using day-old bread or stale bread, it may brown faster.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat add the sausage, dried sage, and a very light sprinkling of Kosher salt. Cook until browned through 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer the sausage with a slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside.

Without cleaning the pan, still on medium heat add unsalted butter, apples, diced onion, 1 tablespoon of the chopped sage, and a light sprinkling of Kosher salt and pepper. Cook until the onions have softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the apple mixture to a bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, 1 tablespoon Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

Grease a large casserole dish with the butter. Layer in half the cubed pumpkin bread, half the cooked sausage, half the apple mixture, half the fresh chopped sage, and half the shredded cheese. Repeat the process with the other half of the same ingredients, ending with the shredded cheese. Slowly pour the egg mixture all over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Remove the casserole dish from the fridge 30 minutes before baking. Replace the plastic wrap with foil. Bake for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking, 10 to 15 minutes more until the top is golden brown and slightly crisp.

Garnish with Italian flat-leaf parsley. Let rest for around 10 minutes and serve warm.

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Italian Sausage, Asparagus, And Fontina Cheese Frittata Muffins

Mini Sausage, Asparagus, And Truffle Fontina Cheese Frittatas

Today’s the day I’m cleaning out my refrigerator. I have quite a few eggs, ricotta cheese, Italian sausage, and part of orange bell pepper on hand so making a frittata just makes perfect sense.

I’m doing Italian Sausage, Asparagus, And Fontina Cheese Frittata Muffins.

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Mini Sausage, Asparagus, And Truffle Fontina Cheese Frittatas (2)

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Yields: 24 frittatas
Equipment: 2 (12-cup) muffin tin pans, large mixing bowl, whisk, box grater, non-stick cooking spray, 12-inch sauté pan

Ingredients:
1 pound of sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
12 large eggs,
1 cup of ricotta cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup of half-and-half
1 1/2 cups of Truffle fontina cheese, freshly grated (reserve 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 1/4 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1 (8-ounce) package of thawed (Birds Eye Steam Fresh) frozen asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces sliced on the bias
1/4 cup of orange bell pepper, finely diced
2 tablespoons of fresh chives, finely minced
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Start by spraying both muffin tin pans with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl break a dozen eggs. Add ricotta, half-and-half, Kosher salt,  and fresh ground black pepper whisk to combine. Add freshly grated fontina cheese whisk to combine. Next, add the fresh chives, thyme, and asparagus, stir to combine. Set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat add the sausage. Using a wooden spoon break up the sausage. Stirring occasionally, cook until no longer pink, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the finely diced bell pepper, stir to combine, cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the cooked sausage to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Combine the cooled sausage mixture with the egg mixture, stir to combine. Fill the muffin cup halfway with the frittata mixture. Sprinkle the reserved grated fontina evenly of the tops of each frittata. Bake until the eggs are just set, 15 to 20 minutes. Allow the Italian Sausage, Asparagus, Fontina Cheese Frittata Muffins to cool before running a rubber spatula around the outside of each one to ensure easy removal.

Transfer to a large serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Meatloaf With Sundried Tomatoes

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Meatloaf is a favorite in my house. I’m always trying to reintroduce new flavors into my meatloaf. Whether I’m trying different types of ground meat or adding different ingredients, meatloaf is comfort food.

I want to talk about my gravy for this dish. Sometimes I like to make a gravy that’s more in the style of an Au Jus. What I mean is, it’s more on the brothier side than a thicker style gravy. I’ll get into more detail later.

I’m making this meatloaf with ground chicken. It’s leaner and I can play around with some new flavors. This is my Meatloaf With Sun-Dried Tomatoes.

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Meatloaf Gravy

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Yields: 6 to 8 Servings
Equipment: 12-inch sautépan, 1  rimmed baking sheet pan

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced
1 red and yellow bell pepper, diced
1 Poblano pepper diced, (substitute green bell pepper)
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 cloves grated garlic
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 large eggs
1/4 cup Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup half and half
5 dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Ketchup
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 3/4 cups seasoned Italian breadcrumbs

2-pounds of ground chicken (substitute ground turkey)

Gravy:
2 cups chicken stock, unsalted
2 cups beef stock, unsalted
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste (Kosher salt)

Side Dish: 2 15-ounce bags frozen petite Green Peas

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and diced peppers, cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft but not browned. Set aside to cool.

Place all the ingredients, from the list above, into a large mixing bowl adding the breadcrumbs last. Mix together until you get the consistency of wet sand. To that add the cooled sautéed onions and peppers and the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Mix to combine.

Finally, add the meat. With clean hands, gently toss the mixture together, making sure it’s combined but not compacted.

Place a piece of parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet pan. Transfer the meat mixture over to the lined sheet pan. Pat the meat into a flat rectangle and then press the sides in until the meat forms a cylinder down the middle of the pan. This will ensure there will be no air pockets. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the internal temperature, in the middle, reads 155-160-degrees F.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. There you have it my Meatloaf With Sundried Tomatoes.

Directions For the Gravy:
To a 3-quart saucepot add 2 cups chicken stock, 2 cups of beef stock, and 5 sprigs of fresh thyme. Over medium heat, bring the liquid up to a simmer. Salt and pepper to taste.

In a small bowl, add 4 tablespoons of cornstarch to 4 tablespoons of cold water. Whisk together until smooth paste forms. Whisk the *slurry (cornstarch/water mixture) into the saucepot with the broth (chicken/beef) until the liquid comes back up to a bubble, 2-3 minutes. Fish out the thyme sprigs.

*Slurry:  Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of cold water. Whisk until smooth paste forms. Add the slurry into the hot, simmering liquid you want to thicken. 2 tablespoons per cup will give you a thicker, more gravy-like consistency.

Homestyle Baked Mac & Cheese

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